Friday, April 02, 2010

Some dough, a hamkhung and a phurbu helps you not to reincarnate

The #Tropenmuseum object of the month is a hamkhung. It is quite extraordinary when an object with this much cultural relevance has no Wikipedia article. The same is true for the phurbu, an object that is used together with the hamkhun.
Object for the month April 2010
An hamkhung is a ritual instrument used in the rites of Tibetan Buddhism. Like the Hindus, the Buddhists believe in reincarnation. In Buddhism, a believers aims to live a such a pure life in order for him or her no longer to be carrying negative karma, Only when the soul is 100% pure, will there be no more reincarnation. In order to achieve this, the three main sins lust, hatred and stupidity have to be banned.

An hamkhung is a like a three cornered "dungeon" where these three limiting factors can be interned in the form of a puppet made out of dough that personifies the ego. The tools in the hamkhung fulfil in the rite the functions of catching taming and destroying the ego. The meditating believer stabs the expression of the ego with a phurbu, a dagger with a three cornered blade. Once the basic evils are destroyed will the road to salvation be open.

Tibetan Buddhism does have its article on Wikipedia, it would be nice when objects like the hamkhung and the phurbu are also covered and illustrated.
Thanks,
     GerardM
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